Well things didn’t go exactly as planned (do they ever?) and now I’m back stateside for the 6 weeks. After my last post in Dubai I returned to the US for what was supposed to be a week long trip but family problems and finances kept me here. Since I never planned on staying here all my stuff is still in Japan! Luckily I found an awesome deal for $600 r/t from vancouver to Tokyo and I will get to go back, say my goodbyes and get all my things.
This summer I will be at Beloit College’s Center for Language Studies Program-Japanese. Starts in 3 weeks and is basically a super intensive 8 week long language camp. Middlebury was too expensive at the Monterey Institute cancelled their Japanese program so here I am. Luckily I get to take an extended break in Japan over the fourth of July (5 days!) to put my hopefully improved language skills to test. They also gave me a $1,000 scholarship even though I applied late so check their program out here at http://www.beloit.edu/cls/apply/
Next up on my travel list is Jamaica around the end of August. It will be a 4 day weekend type trip before I delve into applying for a bajillion things senior year. I need to narrow down my list to one country fora potential Fullbright opportunity. Right now its between
~Teaching in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Colombia or Bulgaria ~A masters degree in Mexico ~Research and Language studies in Japan
Basically teaching in either country would be extremely different than all that I’ve ever experienced, a masters degree would be useful and probably improve my Spanish 10 fold although I’d have to come back and get another degree in the States so more for experience and the program in Japan would hone in on my language skills and develop some research skills. What do you all think I should do? There is still is Princeton in Africa, MEXT scholarship, Pickering Fellowship and the Carnegie Fellowship that are definitely on the radar since nothing is promised to me!
These are a few photos from the conference I attended last month in Dubai. It was an all women’s conference that focused on Sha’ria Law and human trafficking. Jam packed with activities all day long but I recommend you ladies give it a shot in 2015. It gives an honest insight into the Emirati culture and no they aren’t paying me to write this lol!
On another note I will be posting my reasons for leaving Japan and future plans in an upcoming blog post.
This past week I travelled to India from Japan for the Holi Festival with Nomadness Tribe. There were 16 women on the trip and it was awe inspiring, eye opening and life changing for me.
The trip started with the hectic trip through Dehli airport where I popped a woman in the head while she was searching me. Awkward. We stayed in the Umaid Mahal hotel in Jaipur. I love that hotel and I can not wait to return. The food was amazing, staff were super helpful and it was centrally located. We got to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, ride camels in Pushkar, ride elephants at Amber Fort and celebrate Holi in Jaipur with the families of our drivers. Holi consist of decorating each other in lots of colors mainly celebrated by the Hindus in honor of Krishna.
Amber Fort in JaipurPushkar Desert
The staring was very intense but I did not mind it at all. I smiled and they almost always smiled back. It was very friendly and quite different then the blank stares I get in Tokyo. Everyone seemed very curious and being that there weren’t many Blacks around I could see why. The energy and happiness of the kids was also something to note and I pray that I’m blessed with children as vibrant and happy as the ones I’ve met in India.
Currently I am in Dehli, next stop is Dubai for Insight Dubai Women’s conference then back to Japan until August. I will update soon about all the advice I received because it is just too amazing not to share! Hope you enjoy the photos!
Well I’m back from the good ol’ USA and ready to crack down for finals. Yesterday I had to turn in my kanji book about fashion which was super simple. Tomorrow I have final for Japanese Society and a final paper due for my Japanese topics class that has to be partially in Japanese. Friday I have a report due on a 10 page book read, don’t judge me lol! Next week I only have like 4 classes but I work 50 hours for a family visiting Japan. The following and final week of classes I have a 2 presentations, 1 book report and 3 final test. I promise I will never complain when I get back to Spelman for taking 5 classes (20 credits)!
One of the joys of studying in Japan is this 8 week spring break I’m about to have. I plan on taking an intensive Japanese course in Shibuya with ARC for the month of february, a women’s conference in Dubai, hopefully trips to India and Thailand in March. I also plan on working since as many of you know I’m trying to rid myself of student debt.
I will try to update you all more since I surely hated when following a blog and they just fall off the blogwagon. yes for the MAC lipstick
My first sumo match ever
First family picture in many, many years
Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, life has been super busy! I’m actually getting ready to head home for Christmas break. I know, I know why spend about $1000 to fly home but I had to do it for my sanity (homesickness). I’m starting to fall back in love with Japan. I joined the badminton team and I’ve had so much fun with them. They make an effort to speak English and I make an effort to speak Japanese so it all works out. I still attend gymnastics but it’s slightly boring.
This weekend I attended a MMA (mixed martial arts) match in this small crowded gym but it was really interesting and violent. I also ate the best Jamaican food of my life in Shibuya. I also received an opportunity to become a prostitute (declined!). Not sure if I mentioned this but I got a job babysitting for a Japanese-Canadian family. It’s really easy and the kids are great. I almost accepted a job working for a Japanese woman but her parenting style would have driven me up a wall. The toddler controlled her to the extreme! I also climbed Mount Takao and needless to say it wasn’t that bad!
Home bound on Friday but it’s not much of a 3 week break. I have a Kanji project, an interview in Japanese, study for grammar, prepare a 30 minute presentation about culture, and finally review for Spanish and Japanese society classes. Guess my college didn’t get the hint about no homework over break. When I return I have two weeks of finals for my 8 classes. Ick! But unlike in America I have something like a 10 week spring break where I plan on taking Japanese classes and/or working a bunch of hours to pay off student loans.
Things are finally looking up for Japan. I have to admit I had a bad case of culture shock that probably went on for a few weeks. It is possible during that time that I may have warned everyone never to come to Japan but I promise it’s not an awful place. It does take some getting used to. I’ll recap a few things that have happened over the past few weeks.
Waxing in Japan
Over the past few weeks I had been searching for a wax salon here in Tokyo. My first choice was in Shibuya but had no available appointments and cost $63 and the other salon never returned my calls. I ended up settling for the Waxing Bee salon in Ginza. I decided to get a brazilian while I was there which I shouldn’t have done. The salon lady was meticulous. She waxed my eyebrows maybe 5 times each and did not have to use a tweezer or razor. It was less painful and I’m sure it will last longer. The brazilian. Oh the brazilian (hair waxed from front to back). When she asked should she remove all the hair I of course answered yes (no landing strip for me lol). Wrong answer. She waxed with strips and then tweezed every single hair she missed EVERYWHERE (butt too!). Talk about a near death experience! In atlanta I got to Andreia’s and they pour warm wax and then rip the wax off. It is done in 5 batches compared to the 20 I experiences at the salon here. It also takes about half the time but let’s just say I learned my lesson. Long live the hair!!
I met a few new friends outside of campus from Jamaica and the Caribbean and I have to say my life is improving because of it. No more staying in the house watching reruns of SVU. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to a birthday party, spoken word, Jamaican style party with a group known as Cornbread and various dinners and so on. It has been great and I was shocked to find out there are so many Blacks living in Japan doing big things!check out Dave’s blog about being Jamaican living in Japan at http://davecollyjap.blogspot.com/
I know I’m late!
Last week was my birthday and I got to celebrate here in Japan in my dorm. While in America I might have gone to a lounge or maybe even a party but here in Japan at my college it is a nice quiet event celebrated at midnight. My “big sister”, someone assigned to look over us, invited me to her room at midnight where her and her friends sung happy birthday to me! Afterwards we made plans to go to a maid cafe and a butler cafe next week so stay tuned for photos from there!